McLaren MP4-17

2002 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-17

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Moritz, Switzerland | September 17, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

McLaren-Mercedes was a pretty solid chassis/engine combo in Formula One about 10-20 years ago. The MP4-17 was actually used in two slightly different configurations over two seasons. There was the initial car (later retroactively dubbed “MP4-17A”) that was used for 2002, and there was 2003’s updated car, the MP4-17D.

This chassis (#06) debuted in 2002 and was later upgraded to “D” spec. Power is from a 3.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V10 good for 845 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 2002 European Grand Prix – 3rd (with Kimi Raikkonen)
  • 2002 British Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Raikkonen)
  • 2002 French Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
  • 2002 German Grand Prix – 11th, DNF (with Raikkonen)
  • 2002 Hungarian Grand Prix – 4th (with Raikkonen)
  • 2002 United States Grand Prix – 3rd (with David Coulthard)
  • 2002 Japanese Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Coulthard)
  • 2003 Australian Grand Prix – 1st (with Coulthard)
  • 2003 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
  • 2003 Spanish Grand Prix – 20th (with Raikkonen)
  • 2003 Monaco Grand Prix – 7th (with Coulthard)
  • 2003 Japanese Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)

The car was also used as a test car here and there. Once its competitive career was over, the car was backdated to “17A” spec, in which it currently exists. It is expected to sell for between $2,200,000-$2,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Force India VJM-04

2011 Force India-Mercedes VJM-04

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 9, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

You don’t often see “current” F1 cars coming up for sale (although we did just feature a 2010 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes). This is one of the most recent such cars I can remember coming up for public sale. And it’s being offered directly from Force India’s successor team, what is now known as Aston Martin F1.

Force India was formed ahead of the 2008 season by Vijay Mallya after buying the Spyker team, and they were around through 2018 when the company was purchased by Lawrence Stroll and renamed Racing Point (which has since been rebranded as Aston Martin). The VJM04 was from the team’s third full season as a constructor and featured a 2.4-liter Mercedes V8 as well as a McLaren-sourced seven-speed gearbox. This car also had a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Unfortunately, this one is a roller. No drivetrain included.

The competition history for this chassis, 02, includes:

  • 2011 Australian Grand Prix – 10th (with Paul di Resta)
  • 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix – 10th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Chinese Grand Prix – 11th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Turkish Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Spanish Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Monaco Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Canadian Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with di Resta)
  • 2011 European Grand Prix, Valencia – 14th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 British Grand Prix – 15th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 German Grand Prix – 13th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix – 7th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Belgian Grand Prix – 11th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Italian Grand Prix – 8th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Singapore Grand Prix – 6th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Japanese Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Korean Grand Prix – 10th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Indian Grand Prix – 13th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 9th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix – 8th (with di Resta)

So yeah, it ran the whole damned season with Paul di Resta. And had eight top 10 finishes and only one accident (Canada). Despite its lack of podiums, it’s still a pretty incredible machine. And it carries a nostalgic “classic” Force India livery. The pre-sale estimate is $120,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn.

McLaren MP4-25

2010 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Silverstone, U.K. | July 17, 2021

Photo – RM Sotheby’s (OBVIOUSLY)

Booo your lame watermark, RM Sotheby’s. I have no patience for that kind of old-school internet garbage. Anyway, this one-car auction will be a pretty remarkable opportunity for some well-heeled individual to acquired the first-ever F1-race-winning car driven by Lewis Hamilton to come to market.

The dude has won 98 races. 98! And that’s as of this writing… he’ll probably have a few more by the time this thing sells. But this isn’t one of the boring, show-killing Mercedes Silver Arrows, this is a McLaren. From back when Lewis actually had to try. The 2010 season was a good one. Five drivers won races, but it was kind of a toss-up as to who would win every week. Vettel won the championship with Red Bull, but Alonso was right there in a Ferrari. Hamilton was fourth in the driver’s championship, just ahead of his teammate Jenson Button.

The MP4-25 was powered by a Mercedes FO 108X 2.4-liter V8. Hamilton won three races in 2010, including the Turkish Grand Prix in this car. It is unclear what other races it competed in, as RM has yet to publish a full lot description. The pre-sale estimate here is $5,000,000-$7,000,000. It’s also unclear who is selling the car and how, if it isn’t McLaren themselves, it escaped the factory’s control. The world in which a random person propositions a major F1 team to purchase a previous season’s race-winning car is quite a different world than the one in which I spend my days. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $6,503,035.

Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1934 BMW 315/1 Roadster

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz (and more specifically, Daimler) have been around for a long time, and have been a major producer of automobiles for essentially that entire time. Not so with BMW. It seems like the only Pre-War Bimmers that are any sort of common are 327/8/9s. Have you ever seen a 315?

This model was introduced in 1934 to replace the four-cylinder 303. The base 315 was a two-door sedan, cabriolet, or tourer. The 315/1 was the sports car variant. Built between 1934 and 1937, it shared the sedan’s chassis but had a slightly tuned engine. The 1.5-liter straight-six made 40 horsepower in this form. But, this particular car actually has an 80 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six from the similar 319/1 Roadster. A swap was made at some point in the past.

Only 242 examples of the 315/1 Roadster were made – perhaps most people haven’t seen them. This car has been more or less dormant for 30 years, so some work is needed. Regardless, it should still command between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $134,400.


1915 Simplex Crane Model 5 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

The Crane, Simplex, Crane-Simplex, and Simplex Crane is one confusing mess of marques. Henry Middlebrook Crane started his own car company in 1912 and it lasted through 1914. It was acquired by Simplex and in 1915 they merged the Crane line of cars into their own, as a separate model. From 1915 through the end of the company, the cars were branded as Simplexes and the model was the “Crane Model 5” which Crane introduced back in 1914. When Simplex went under, Henry Crane bought the remnants and sold the Crane-Simplex (as a marque) for about a year in 1922. CONFUSED YET?

What we have here is a Simplex Crane Model 5. It’s powered by a ridiculous 110 horsepower, 9.2-liter straight-six with a four-speed transmission. The two-seater sports tourer body is not original but is nice. Less than 500 Crane Model 5s were produced, making this quite rare today. It should bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1913 Mercedes 28/60HP Phaeton

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler built some pretty impressive Mercedes-branded automobiles in the pre-Benz years. The 1913 28/60 was a development of the 28/50, which was introduced in 1910. Production of the 28/60 would continue until 1920 and power comes from a 60 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four.

This car has been in the same family for the last 40 years and was restored in 2008. It’s been actively toured, a testament to the usability of early Mercedes cars, despite their sometimes immense size. It’s well-outfitted in period accessories and should bring between $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Carmel.

Update: Not sold.

1913 Mercedes Phaeton

1913 Mercedes 28/60HP Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler built some pretty impressive Mercedes-branded automobiles in the pre-Benz years. The 1913 28/60 was a development of the 28/50, which was introduced in 1910. Production of the 28/60 would continue until 1920 and power comes from a 60 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four.

This car has been in the same family for the last 40 years and was restored in 2008. It’s been actively toured, a testament to the usability of early Mercedes cars, despite their sometimes immense size. It’s well-outfitted in period accessories and should bring between $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Carmel.

Update: Not sold.

Sauber C9

1989 Sauber-Mercedes C9

Offered by Coys | Fontwell, U.K. | September 7, 2017

Photo – Coys

Coys has a serious race car for it’s Goodwood sale this year. The Sauber C9 was one of the preeminent Group C race cars from the late 1980s. Introduced in 1987, it was developed from the Sauber C8 race car and was much more successful than it’s predecessor.

Co-designed by Peter Sauber, the C9 is powered by a 5.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 with two turbochargers. That combination made 700 horsepower in the most basic of forms and over 900 if you cranked up the boost. The most famous C9s were those painted solid silver that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on their way to the World Endurance Championship in 1989 (and they won the Championship again in 1990). This car is the only C9 that still wears the 1988 AEG livery – it was retained by Sauber for display in his museum after the 1988 season.

I do not have access to any race records for this particular chassis (C9-A2). The current owner purchased this car from Peter Sauber in 2010 – after 20 years of museum duty. It was restored in 2015 and a fresh engine was constructed by the original engine builder. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can see more here and more from Coys here.

Update: Sold, approximately $2,377,000.

1911 Mercedes 28/50

1911 Mercedes 28/50 PS Roi des Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

What’s not to love about a big, pre-Benz Mercedes touring car? The Mercedes marque dates back to about 1900 when Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach came together to produce what would ultimately become the template for all modern cars. Of course, in 1926, Mercedes merged with Benz to become the company we all know today.

This is the 28/50 PS model and it’s powered by a 50 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four engine. This particular car was originally bodied in France but, because of its hearty engine and chassis combination, had at some point been converted into a bus. The current family who owns the car acquired it in 1957 and had it restored in the early 1960s.

During that restoration, the current body you see above was constructed and done so convincingly in the style of something available in 1911. It remains in running condition, having been used sparingly over the past few years. It is expected to bring between $390,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $467,080.

The Big, Pre-Benz Mercedes

1924 Mercedes 24/100/140 Custom Sport Touring by Fleetwood

Offered by Dragone Auctions | Westport, Connecticut | October 17, 2015

Photo - Dragone Auctions

Photo – Dragone Auctions

The 24/100/140 was the “big” Mercedes. Introduced in 1924, it was on sale for only two short years before the merger of Daimler and Benz – and the creation of Mercedes-Benz. The post-merger car was known as the Mercedes-Benz Type 630 through 1929. It was the long, fast, and heavy Mercedes – one of the peaks of 1920s German motoring.

The engine is a 6.2-liter straight-six that made 99 horsepower – but with the “Kompressor” (supercharger) engaged, power jumped up to 138. Strangely, this big German touring car doesn’t carry a European body. Instead, the new chassis and engine combo was shipped to Mercedes of North America in New York City. The new owner sent it to Fleetwood in Pennsylvania who was operating in its final year of independence in its founding city before being acquired and moved to Detroit.

The car was discovered in the 1970s and restored. Then it was hidden again. When it was pulled out of the garage recently, it showed that it had been well preserved since that restoration over 40 years ago. It’s been awakened and is ready to run. Only 377 of these were built after the Benz merger, so the number beforehand is likely much lower. This one should bring between $1,200,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

1914 Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

No single photo can sum up the amazing look and detail of this fine, 100-year-old automobile. The Mercedes 28/95 PS was introduced in 1914 and it lasted through 1924. Only 590 were built in that ten year span – although half of that time was a world war. In fact, only 25 examples were sold during the first year. It was the flagship for Mercedes in 1914.

The car makes an impressive 95 horsepower from its 7.3-liter straight-six. I mean this thing was serious in its day. Dating this particular example is a bit tough, however. The chassis was ordered – and cancelled – twice, with the first one in 1914. The war didn’t help. It is known that this car was was shipped to New York City in 1920 as a bare chassis – and a Sindelfingen tourer was shipped separately.

This is not that body. The plaque on this body dates it to around 1910 and it was applied sometime after arriving in New York, but no one knows when. Anyway, this car magically survived unrestored in some major collections including that of Tom Barrett (of Barrett-Jackson). Fortunately, it was acquired in 1993 by a major Mercedes collector and he recognized how great this car is and decided to preserve it. So he soaked the wooden skiff body in linseed oil – for three years! It worked. This thing is all original and it’s incredible.

It should bring between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,401,031.

July 2014 Auction Recap

Welcome to our July 2014 auction rundown, beginning with Artcurial’s 2014 Le Mans sale. The top sale was this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,505,502.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Our feature cars all sold, with the Jaguar Buetler Prototype leading the way and smashing its estimate, selling for $217,162. Both other cars, the D.B. HBR5 and the Koenig Testarossa, sold for $160,860 each. Interesting cars were topped by this 1966 Fiat 1500 GT Barchetta by Ghia for $96,516. Check out full results here.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Continue reading